Up until recently there has been an embarrassment of aspects in the sky, in the sense of so many different things going on from Jupiter outwards that it has been hard to know what to say: Jupiter opposite Saturn, conjunct Uranus and square Pluto; Saturn opposite Uranus and square Pluto; Uranus square Pluto; and Neptune conjunct Chiron. All the planets from Saturn outwards (including Chiron) making hard aspects with one or more of the others. Phenomenal.
Lynn Hayes called the ‘Cardinal Drama’. It was a time for powerful new beginnings such as we will not see again in our lifetimes. I saw a lot of it happening in the lives of myself and my friends. Anything major that you began this summer has a significance that you cannot begin to understand yet.
And this was the same on the world stage. Admittedly I was left scratching my head this summer, thinking well everything seems to be carrying on as usual, where’s the Cardinal Drama? But as I said, it was about beginnings whose significance we may not see for a long time, we may not even know they were beginnings. But there were a number of shifts: the BP oil spill, which may effect oil policy profoundly in the long term – or ought to – or it may just be bad news for BP; the war of the West, led by the US, against Islamism seems in Afghanistan to have shifted towards an acknowledgement that the Taleban, the arch enemy, have to be negotiated with; and Pakistan, a nuclear-armed country under pressure from the Islamists, has slipped further into crisis.
We seem to be in what has aptly been called The Great Recession, and this fits with Pluto’s presence in Capricorn since the western economies went into crisis. Pluto governs wealth and power, both of which have their basis in the economy, and Capricorn is neither boom nor bust. So the boom went, but we did not have a Depression, which is the opposite extreme. Capricorn wants realism, an honest day’s work, and we will continue to have a hangover until we have paid for the party and wealth is again based on productivity rather than on financial engineering, debt and inflated house prices. There is no sense at the moment that a different model is going to come about: just the old model but with a return to some older rules for the bankers to stop the same crisis occurring again.
Saturn-Uranus oppositions and conjunctions seem to invariably coincide with dramatic and revolutionary change, which is in the nature of Uranus when it gets its chance through the manifesting, shaping nature of Saturn. The conjunction in 1988/89 saw the USSR coming to an end; and the opposition of 1965/66 saw the enactment of civil rights legislation in the US, liberalising measures in the UK, and the era of protests. With the world’s financial system almost collapsing, we have certainly also been through a period of dramatic change; but with the Uranus square Pluto following hard on its heels, Saturn-Uranus may come economically to be seen as preparatory rather than as the full change itself. Politically, Saturn-Uranus has the seen the election of the first black President in the US as well as revolutionary healthcare legislation, however watered down; and in the UK we have seen the first coalition government since the Second World War.
Saturn has been squaring Pluto since last autumn, and will finish next month. Hard aspects between Saturn and Pluto usually coincide with a swing to the right in US politics: the empowerment (Pluto) of conservatism (Saturn). The conjunction of 1982, for example, saw the rise of Reaganism; the opening square of 1993/4 saw the Republicans under Newt Gingrich take control of Congress; and the opposition of 2001 saw George W Bush come to power. Under the present square we have seen the rise of the Tea Party, representing a particularly strong swing to the right. In the UK, the Conservatives have gained power for the first time in 13 years.
There has been a Jupiter-Uranus conjunction since April 2010 that will finish in February 2011. It has been taking place in late Pisces/early Aries. Jupiter expands whatever it touches. Uranus means many things, but scientific progress is one of them, so these conjunctions are usually periods of scientific breakthrough. This has been particularly noticeable in astronomy, with all sorts of new telescopes coming on line, both ground-based and spaced-based, and lots of new discoveries being made about the wider universe.
Discovering life elsewhere would be a huge event that would deeply change how we see the universe and our place in it. It would therefore be very appropriate if it occurred not just under a Uranus-Jupiter conjunction, but one that was taking place both at the end of Pisces (the infinite sea of life) and at the beginning of Aries, the zodiac place par excellence of new beginnings.
Uranus is also associated with lightning, so Uranus-Jupiter is associated with big lightning bolts! (Jupiter is the Roman Zeus, who wielded a thunderbolt.) With this conjunction taking place opposite the US MC at 1 Libra, the public face of the country, what could be more appropriate than the success of the photographer who waited 40 years to get this photo:
Jupiter, as king of the gods, is also a law giver, he tells us what is right and wrong, and so he is associated with ethics. There has been a square from Jupiter to Pluto (wealth and the power it gives) for much of this year, a time when legislation has been enacted in the US to curb the activities of the unscrupulous end of the financial system.
The final part of the Cardinal Drama has been the opposition between Jupiter and Saturn, which began in May 2010 and will finish next March. The Jupiter-Saturn cycle, before the discovery of the outer planets, used to be the main cycle for describing changes in the world. It is now perhaps not so clear what is its precise place in the scheme of things. There are plenty of articles on Jupiter-Saturn, but none I can find that say exactly what it means if you subtract the outer planets. It would seem there is a whole lot to think through!
So events around the conjunction of 2000 set the stage for what is happening now under the opposition. It was a case of too much Jupiter and not enough Saturn. Legislation to rein in the financial industries – Saturn - has been passed in the US under this opposition. The first half of the Jupiter-Saturn cycle is traditionally expansive, and the second half contractive, and this seems to be what is happening. And the crisis has so clearly been something of our own making, something we are responsible for and can learn from. Of course, the outer planets are also coming along and taking the whole thing somewhere else. But the Saturn-Jupiter aspect of the crisis shows humanity its own part in it: too much Jupiter in Taurus, and not enough Saturn in Taurus. And the two intertwine. Jupiter, for example, in its wish to provide poor people in the US with their own houses, did not take fully into account human nature in its natural, unreformed state (Saturn), and the fraud and the greed and the ignorance that would lead to a crisis. So Saturn also caused the crisis, because Jupiter was not properly ruling it. If one planet malfunctions, you get a contribution from the malfunctioning aspect of the other planet.